⚡️These will go fast.⚡️@nikebasketball City Edition for OKC.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) December 26, 2017
The Thunder yesterday became the fifth NBA team to unveil their second alternate uniform, revealing their (hideous) design via the video shown above. The other four that teams that have unveiled their second alternates are the Jazz, Grizzlies, Nuggets, and Hawks (plus the Kings have revealed the court design that will go with their alternate uni, although the uni itself hasn’t yet been unveiled).
The remaining 25 teams are expected to reveal their second alternates at some point today, probably by noon Eastern. Twenty-three of those designs have already leaked via video game screen shots (and the leaks match the five official unveilings that have occurred so far), so we have a pretty good idea of what the jersey fronts will look like, although it’s worth keeping in mind that there’s a lot more to a uniform than the front of the jersey.
Update, 9:15am: The 76ers have unveiled their design, and it’s a beauty. Bravo.
Once all 30 designs have been revealed, I’ll have an assessment over on ESPN. Link coming soon-ish. Update, 5:45pm: It’s finally up.
Meanwhile, the timing of this release is puzzling. Why would you release a bunch of new product two days after Christmas? Was that really the plan all along, or were there problems that resulted in delays? If anyone has good info on this, I’m all ears.
Meanwhile, lots of people have been asking why the NBA didn’t have Christmas Day uniforms this year. Aside from the cynical reason (most of the Christmas designs sucked) or the sensible reason (every team already has either four or five uniforms this season, which is more than enough), I think I may have some insights on this one: The Christmas designs put a lot of strain on retailers over the past several years. Store owners had to place their orders in the spring of a given year, several months before the following season’s schedule was announced, so in many cases retailers were ordering Christmas jerseys for teams that didn’t even end up playing on Christmas Day. I don’t know if that’s why they scrapped the holiday uniforms this year, but I do know that a lot of retailers were really pissed off about this situation, so maybe that’s why they abandoned the promotion this season.
I also heard a lot of people asking why the Celtics and Wizards went green vs. blue on Christmas Day, instead of the more Yuletide-appropriate green vs. red. It might be that the NBA learned something from the NFL’s experience with green/red games. Then again, before the advent of separate Christmas unis, the NBA had several green/red Christmas uni pairings (Mavs/Blazers in 2008, Knicks/Heat in 2009, and Knicks/Bulls in 2010), and I don’t recall anyone complaining about colorblindness issues regarding those games — hmmmm).
Stick of gum not included: I collected baseball cards when I was a kid, and naturally I’d end up with doubles or triples on some players’ cards. I’d save those and periodically sign my name on them. I figured I needed to practice signing my autograph in a baseball card-sized space, because I was definitely going to grow up to be a ballplayer and then I’d be signing my own card each season. (I made sure to practice signing on oblong cards too — you know, just in case they made my card in that orientation. I thought of everything!)
All of that practice finally paid off yesterday, when I received a letter in the mail yesterday from reader Paul Letlow, as follows:
Longtime reader of your blog here! I collect signed cards through the mail and sometimes create customs for that purpose. I made two similar cards of you [shown above; click to enlarge — PL] and would be honored if you’d sign the front of one and return it to me. Feel free to keep the other one for yourself.
I was very happy to oblige. Thanks, Paul!
By Alex Hider
NFL News: Wendy’s outlets at certain South Florida locations are selling commemorative cups featuring Dolphins players. Garrett Beatty noticed that S Reshad Jones’s cup shows him wearing a jersey with the NFL logo, while WR Devante Parker’s cup shows him without the NFL logo. … Speaking of the Dolphins, Patrick DiRubbo tried to order his daughter a Fins throwback jersey for Christmas but instead received a regular home jersey with throwback numbers. “Of course, I have had no luck trying to get through to return this,” he says.
College Football News: Dallas Police escorted the Ohio State football team to Cotton Bowl practice Tuesday morning while wearing motorcycle helmets with Buckeye decals and striping (from Tyler Backstrom). … Northwestern will go black/purple/black in the Music City Bowl on Friday. … It appears that Michigan State will be wearing white lids in the Holiday Bowl on Thursday (from Spartan Jerseys). … Virginia Tech has been selecting a different special teams player to wear No. 25 — the number worn by former Hokies coach Frank Beamer — for each game this season. For their upcoming bowl game, LB Andrew Motuapuaka has been selected to wear No. 25 (from Andrew Cosentino).
Hockey News: Team Canada’s uniforms for the Spengler Cup (an international tournament held in Switzerland) feature a double-maple leaf logo that no other Canadian hockey teams have used since the ’90s (from Wafflebored). … The refs at the World Juniors have giant ads on their jerseys.
Basketball News: Back in 1972, after the ABA’s Pittsburgh Condors folded, the team’s uniforms were donated to Attica State Prison in western New York State, in response to a request from one of the prisoners. The uniforms were used for prison basketball games (from Jerry Wolper).
Soccer News: Marko Arnautović of West Ham United was were a jersey with a misspelled NOB yesterday in a match against Bournemouth (from @NoDougButDoug). … Lots of stripes in yesterday’s match between Huddersfield and Stoke City (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Also from Jamie: Newport County of English League Two have apparently been wearing striped socks with their first-choice kit for the past month or so. They had been previously wearing all-black socks.